We Tried It: Fabletics
Have you seen Kate Hudson’s body? To. Die. For. The 36-year-old has two kids, yet her physique looks better than most teenagers. Besides having complete body envy, (What are the odds she eats carbs?) I have to admit I was suckered into giving Fabletics a shot after seeing the commercials of a size zero Hudson prancing around in her “gym clothes.” Sure, the pieces look stylish enough (but seriously, when you are a size zero, everything looks good on you), but do the items actually perform?
When you first go on the Fabletics site, you see that it is the same company behind Just Fab, the shoe subscription service. I love shoes about as much as gym clothes, but have stayed away from Just Fab because I was worried about quality. I lived in NYC for a number of years and remember the “cheap-y” shoe stores selling designer-looking knockoffs made of plastic. I was afraid that the shoes would be similar. But now that I’ve tried Fabletics, I may even give Just Fab another look.
Fabletics compares their clothing to Lululemon, Nike, and Athleta. After receiving my first outfit, I would agree that the quality is on par with their competitors, but there were some thinks lacking, like a zippered pocket or in some cases, having a pocket at all. (They do offer some with a hidden pocket, but my first pair of capris did not have one.) That said, after bending in as many positions as I could think of in front of the mirror, I felt confident that the people in my yoga class will not get a show, because the material was definitely not see-through.
“I’m a big fan of their pants,” says Hanneke Antonelli, a Pilates instructor who is the Boston-area ambassador for the brand. “Being a fitness instructor, I want to be able to have a different look about me as often as I can.” Fabletics reached out to Antonelli to be a part of the team, and the company provides swag bags for events that Antonelli throws for charity.
It works like this: You sign up and take a short quiz that determines what kind of outfits you need (read: are you a runner, yogi, Zumba addict, or a Jill-of-all-fitness), then the site determines what outfits will work for you. (You can always view everything they offer.)
The first purchase (for a two or three piece outfit) is $25. But, this also signs you up for the monthly service. Then, at the beginning of the month, you get a curated selection of outfits sent to your inbox. But, if you aren’t feeling it, you can hit “skip” and you will not be charged for that month. If you do not shop or skip by the 5th of the month, your credit card will be charged $49.95 and issued a credit. Each credit can be redeemed toward one outfit. The clothes sell out quickly and change up monthly so there are always new items to browse.
The service is perfect for fitness instructors or those of us who live in gym clothes. So far, I’ve been a member for three months, and I’ve skipped two months. I fully intend to buy next month, just because my athletic apparel needs a revamp for spring. The service works for me because I love online shopping. But, if you prefer to try on your clothes or are not true to size, you may want to stick with brick and mortar shops with dressing rooms. Because you can cancel at any time, and have five days to remember to hit skip if you don’t want to be charged that month, I was surprisingly impressed with the service and look forward to my new warm weather gear.